The Playboy Mansion is historic, but is it a landmark?

The party palace’s new owner and the city have struck a deal over its future

Mar.March 06, 2018 01:00 PM
Playboy Mansion with owner Daren Metropolous (Getty)

The Playboy Mansion probably warrants a note in the history books of Los Angeles. But does it deserve landmark protection? Yes and no, according to an agreement signed between the city and the mansion’s owner.

Hostess Brands heir Daren Metropolous, owner of the Playboy Mansion, will not demolish the
iconic estate as part of an agreement with L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz. The Hollywood Reporter covered the story earlier Tuesday.

The outspoken billionaire first mentioned plans to combine the 20,000-square-foot property with his house next door, when he paid a record-breaking $100 million for the property in 2016. At the time, there were rumblings he would tear down the bunny palace to build a colossal estate.

But Playboy fans and neighborhood preservationists rallied against the possibility, and Koretz introduced a motion to declare the notorious party pad as a historic-cultural landmark. In November, he proclaimed the mansion an “excellent example of a Gothic-Tudor,” while nearly failing to mention its raunchy past.

As part of the deal, Metropoulos will repair the façade of the home while maintaining its original condition. He will “meticulously refurbish” the home, which an interior designer once said smelled like a urinal. Still, he intends to combine the two adjacent properties to build a 7.3-acre compound.

The permanent protection covenant will remain with the property regardless of future owners.

If awarded landmark status, the 1927-built property would have been protected from exterior alterations and any attempt to demolish it would have required a review by the city. Some L.A. spots that actually have landmark protection are the Griffith Observatory, Getty Villa, Staples Center and the Hollywood Bowl.

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